Reeves Center re-opens its doors

The home to the university’s ceramics collection is newly-renovated and once again open to the public in time for its 50th anniversary

Lily Horsley

Following six long months of restoration and renovation, the Reeves Center celebrated both its grand re-opening and its 50th anniversary with an open house on Sept. 26.

The Reeves Center was founded in 1967 with a donation from Euchlin D. Reeves, a graduate of the Washington and Lee School of Law. Located in an on-campus home that dates back to 1842, the center currently displays the fourth largest ceramics collection in the United States and houses Chinese export porcelain, Chinese armorial porcelain and British and continental European ceramic pieces.

Photo courtesy of University Collections

New additions to the center include improved wiring and security systems, new display cases and lighting and the Elisabeth S. Gottwald Gallery, which houses both paintings by Louise Herreshoff Reeves and a classroom.

Ron Fuchs, curator of ceramics and manager of the Reeves Center, said he is thrilled that  students and professors will be able to use the new space.

“I think ceramics can be a great teaching tool; they can tell so many stories about technology, design, trade, how people lived…Our Chinese export collection is one of the finest in the country, and it gives students a rare opportunity to handle actual objects instead of just reading about them or seeing them in photographs,” he said.ce

Art history and economics major Ailyn Kelly, ‘18, interned at the Reeves Center the summer before her junior year. She had the unique opportunity of working with some of these prized porcelain pieces up close.

“The Reeves Center stands as a reminder of the generosity of the W&L alumni,” Kelly said. “The entire porcelain collection, dedicated by alumnus Euchlin Reeves, has added tremendously to the University Collection of Art and History and allowed students the opportunity to conduct research.”

The Reeves Center will host an additional open house during Parents and Family Weekend on Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.